They're dirty. They get away with the things. They talk too much and foul too hard. And we Celtics fans… well… we're dirty, arrogant a-holes who illicit eye rolls at the mere hint of complaint. People even come here to point and laugh at how we react to games… even though every team's fans react the same way. Somehow… we're different, and we're wrong.
We are the Evil Empire. Hated by everyone. We're the New York Yankees of basketball. Might as well embrace it.
I know… I know. That stings. As mostly Red Sox fans around here, the hint of our beloved Celtics compared to the Yankees is enough to make an eyeball burst. But it's true. It's a team full of stars. It's a team with a long championship history. It's a team with very loyal fans on its side, and very angry haters on the other. Our every failure is cheered. Hell, we're even accused of buying a title… which I never understood since this is a salary cap league and all trades require matching salaries. But hating us doesn't have to make sense.
Still don't believe me? Look at Kevin Garnett. He was one of the most beloved figures in the game. Everyone wanted him to win. Yeah, he acted a little nuts, but that's because he was intense… he wanted to win THAT BAD! Fast forward to life in Boston and suddenly KG is one of the most hated players around. He's acting the same way he always has. He's just doing it in Boston… and people hate him for it.
Want more proof? Paul Pierce is hated because team doctors were careful with his knee. The guy was afraid he hurt his knee… they put him on a wheelchair… and when he turned out to be ok, he played. And IMMEDIATELY he was villified. He was called a faker. People actually still believe he staged the whole thing so he could come out to an emotional boost of some kind. People still make the jokes every time he hits the deck.
Rajon Rondo's now one of the most hated guys by opposing fans because of one hard foul on Brad Miller. For half the Chicago series, people were lining up to pat Rondo on the back for emerging as an elite NBA point guard. Now people are lining up to stab him in the back because of a hard foul. Top of the world to the trash heap… because he wears Boston on his chest and that's just easy for everyone else to hate.
So what do we Celtics fans do? Embrace it. What else can we do? No matter what we do, we're the arrogant ones. We're the fans who cheer for the dirty flagrant foulers. No matter what we say or how we act, we're going to catch hell for it.
So soak it in people. We're the bad guys. But I would just say this about being the Evil Empire. Everyone knows Darth Vader is the coolest character. There's a reason the Vader costumes are big on halloween, while anyone wearing a Luke Skywalker get up is a target for a beatdown. Everyone secretly wants to be the cool bad-ass… even when they bad-mouth him in public.